The whispers of sexual assault allegations that have quietly trailed Bill Cosby for years once again bubbled to the surface this week. The renewed focus was, in part, self-inflicted as Cosby took to Twitter asking followers to “meme me.” They did. But not in the way the comedian apparently expected. And here we are.
On Saturday, NPR aired an interview with Cosby on Weekend Edition Saturday where host Scott Simon asked the comedian about the allegations. During the interview, primarily about the comedian’s loan of African art to a gallery, which was taped earlier in the week—apparently on Tuesday—Simon pushed Cosby to respond, but Cosby refused to speak. You can listen to the segment for yourself, but here’s a brief transcript via NPR:
SCOTT SIMON: This question gives me no pleasure Mr. Cosby, but there have been serious allegations raised about you in recent days.
BILL COSBY: [SILENCE]
SIMON: You're shaking your head no. I'm in the news business. I have to ask the question. Do you have any response to those charges?
SIMON: Shaking your head no. There are people who love you who might like to hear from you about this. I want to give you the chance.
After the interview was recorded, and before it was aired, the pressure on Cosby continued to grow. On Thursday, the Washington Post published a disturbing account by one of his alleged victims, Barbara Bowman, detailing instances of sexual assault and rape by Cosby. “Ms. Bowman’s allegations follow similar charges by other women, one of whom, Andrea Constand, filed a civil suit against Mr. Cosby in 2005, which promised to include testimony from 13 other then-unnamed women,” the New York Times reports. “One of those was Ms. Bowman, she said in her article. The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount. Both Mr. Cosby and his attorney have issued denials of the charges at various points.”
On Friday, Cosby pulled out of an appearance scheduled for Wednesday on the Late Show with David Letterman, but did not give a reason for the cancellation.